While her classmates were immersing themselves in a new school year earlier this month, Charlotte Samuels (FACES IN THE CROWD, Oct. 21, 2013), a junior at Ridgewood (N.J.) High, was diving into the English Channel off the coast of Dover. On Sept. 8 she became the youngest person—at 16 years, seven months and three days—to complete the Triple Crown of open-water swimming. (She navigated California's Catalina Channel in August and circled Manhattan in June.) During the 20 hours, 44 minutes and 47 seconds Charlotte was in the water, her spirits were buoyed by her boat crew, who scrawled Facebook messages from friends back home onto a whiteboard for her to see and cheered themselves hoarse when she had to sprint the last three miles to outdistance the current. "I felt like I could have kept swimming for another hour if I needed to," Charlotte said.
MARKO GEORGIEV/NORTHJERSEY.COM (SAMUELS)